Fighting Back

“The reader deserves honesty.”

Nora Roberts

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, Nora Roberts’ post Plagiarism, Then and Now is worth your time and serious reflection. In that post she shares her own heart-wrenching experience and confronts what she calls “this ugly underbelly of legitimate self-publishing.” It’s both humbling and awe-inspiring that a writer of her stature would stand and fight in defense of honest authors, whatever publishing path they choose.

I hope you’ll read the post in its entirety.


The more I read about the plagiarist-pirate-thief Cristiana Serruya the worse the story becomes. While it’s possible her thievery did not extend to mystery fiction, it’s unfortunately quite probable that another wordsnatcher is out there raiding our work. (For the record, I cannot claim to have coined wordsnatcher; a quick search online turned up this post on the No Bad Language blog.) If you’re a writer whose work has been stolen, Courtney Milan has excellent suggestions to help you here.

I have to thank Nora Roberts for linking to Courtney Milan’s site, as she’s a new-to-me author. I checked out her website and discovered she’d posted this:

If you’re just discovering my books and want to know what to read first, here are some recommendations. If you’ve already read all my books, and want to know which authors I enjoy reading here are some more recommendations.

I appreciate writers who take the time to spotlight other authors. I also appreciate those writers, their publicists (hat tip to Laura who took time to answer my email about this post), and other support staff who share behind-the-scenes details and information. My latest discovery is the Index O’Answers on Nora Roberts’ blog.

p.s. If you’re curious about the different legitimate paths to publishing, check Jane Friedman’s website to see the chart Key Book Publishing Paths (updated annually).

12 thoughts on “Fighting Back

    1. Agreed, Richard. While there may be some legitimate authors who can actually turn out books that quickly, I’ve no idea how they manage it. The best, most prolific writers I know seem to need at least three months per title–and those authors have support staff.

  1. While I come from the music business where everyone quotes their resources and influences directly or indirectly, and people sue each other over who borrowed a Chopin riff first this has been a while in being exposed for writers. My wife is an English professor. She is constantly having to enforce the department’s zero tolerance plagiarism policy. The excuses from the students sound the much the same. If it’s on the internet, or in print, and it has proven successful it’s free. And “mine” to use. Or that’s the mindset. They get a zero for 92% plagiarized when run trough safe assign they don’t apologize, or say oops, they ask for an extra credit assignment to make up the zero.
    This has been going on for decades in the academic circles, Frat and Sorority houses had filing cabs full of papers to get the marginal but entitled through school. Filed by profs where the documents could be used and where they had been used. Sheesh.
    Free money. At least the ghosts and subs that pick up a franchise legitimately like the I’m not Robert Parker clone are out in the open. I wonder which Elmore Leonard I’d look good on the back cover of…
    Great post. Should be shared with the world

    1. Thanks for your comment, Phil. And you’re welcome to re-post or share a link. The credit should go to Nora Roberts and Courtney Milan for standing up for writer’s rights.

      As a professor like your wife, I spend a lot of time on the necessity of academic integrity. I’ve had some success in drawing connections between classroom cheating and workplace problems. Happy to share links and suggestions with your wife, so pass along my email (dogmysteries [at] gmail) to her.

  2. Nancy Denn

    I miss you Susan and did not realize you had published a second book. I will look for it on the internet. Nancy Marie Denn

  3. Pingback: How to Spot Fake Authors – Waterside Kennels Mysteries

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